AboutQuick FactsCountriesLetter to EITI

Today, Nord Stream 2 remains the biggest threat to the European energy security, the cohesion of the European Union and the effectiveness of NATO. It’s the weapon of choice as Russia seeks to renegotiate the world order sidelining the United States through “pipeline politics”.

While the Nord Stream 2 construction was halted in late 2019 by U.S. sanctions, with only a few miles of seabed construction remaining till its completion, Russia’s motivation to find creative solutions is very high.

Much work has been done to analyze and debunk Gazprom propaganda surrounding Nord Stream 2, including by Free Russia Foundation. Nord Stream 2 is the Kremlin’s con of the century. It reduces Russia’s gas export capacity to Europe and increases energy supply vulnerability, thereby providing Putin with effective new political leverage — all under the pretense of wanting to bring more and cheaper gas. It raises serious red flags by its opaque business model, adverse environmental impact, potential infringement on human rights. All of this information is publicly available through Gazprom’s own reports and statements.

Rethink Nord Stream 2 campaign is brought to you by a coalition of environmentalists, economists, human rights defenders — who are very concerned about the grave costs the project imposes not only on the Russian society but also the damage it would render to European freedom and unity. We believe that the European voter has not been allowed to thoroughly consider this dangerous project, and the opposing voices within European societies have not been heard.

What is Nord Stream 2?

Nord Stream 2 is a new Russian gas pipeline that actually delivers NO new gas to Europe; 

Worse than that, it is breaking apart the European Union, and is destroying the environment.

Then why do we need a new pipeline?

EUROPE DOES NOT NEED NS2.

The old one works great, offers seasonal supply flexibility that the new pipeline won’t have and is only used at half of its capacity!

Why is Russia pushing so hard for NS2?

Nord Stream 2 is a political weapon against the European Union.

With it, Russia wants to sideline certain European countries from the energy supply route AND to be able to blackmail others.  

IF NORD STREAM 2 is so BAD – WHY DID EUROPE AGREE TO IT?

EUROPE HAS NOT AGREED TO NS2. Europeans have not been allowed to discuss this critical issue in a public forum.

Russian propaganda is working overtime feeding you lies about its benefits. In reality:

  • Europe DOES NOT NEED this pipeline
  • Europe HAS NOT AGREED on this pipeline
  • The loudest voices are those on the Russian payroll.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE?

Nord Stream 2 will change YOUR life:

  • It will affect your home’s energy choices and costs:
    • NS2 is putting lots of your gas supply into fewer routes
    • NS2 is rerouting your gas via Baltic seabed, increasing the likelihood for long disruption of supply in case of an accident
  • Your community’s options on seasonal energy supply options;
  • European options on key policy issues: environment, defense, economy

In the News

More News

Germany

German energy corporations are enthusiastic about Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2. But German citizens hardly know any details about this pipeline as there has been no proper debate outside policy circles. This highly expensive project corruptly subsidized by the monopoly at the expense of Russian taxpayers has many environmental, political and economic implications.

Even among other fossil fuel majors, Gazprom has a horrific track record on gas leaks from pipeline and gas flaring at production, contributing heavily to climate change. This undermines Germany’s green policy goals and the idea that Nord Stream 2 can serve as a bridge from coal to renewables.

Nord Stream 2 is destroying Kurgalsky Nature Reserve after violating international laws, faking public hearings and publishing misleading reports. In Germany and elsewhere in the Baltic Sea the pipeline construction has been caught polluting water. Natura 2000 sites and multiple animal life are affected according to leading environmental NGOs.

Politically, German people might not realize the extent to which this Kremlin-led pipeline will make their country isolated in the EU. Germany’s key neighbors – Poland, Baltic countries, Ukraine and others – are critical not only due to reduction of their transit fees and access to gas but because of well-grounded fear for the security of the whole Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Kremlin has often acted like a bully and aggressive spy in the Baltic Sea and will likely use Nord Stream 2 to further those actions, plus it will be less limited to re-start war in Ukraine. Gazprom has used coercion against many EU states, for example, by cutting down supplies via Nord Stream 1 in 2014-15 to stop reverse gas flows.

Economically, Nord Stream 2 will make CEE hostage to bilateral relations with Gazprom while German and Western consumers are not guaranteed from price hikes. A lot of additional pipelines need to be constructed, while the flexibility of Ukrainian transit supply during peak times and gas-to-gas competition will be lost. Only vested interests of Gazprom’s partners and pipeline operators in Germany are guaranteed. German consumers will have to pay for additional pipelines and lack of flexibility/competition.

In Russia, Gazprom’s corruption for Putin’s insiders will further flourish, while ordinary Russians remain deprived of basic healthcare, education and even gas. People living next to Nord Stream 1 in Putin’s home Leningrad region continue to burn timber despite official promises of gas.

German citizens should appreciate that their government acts alone on this project, selfishly against key EU neighbors and EU parliament. Germany is assisting an authoritarian corrupt state and fails to be a team player in the EU.

Key points and recommendations for Germany

Netherlands

Dutch energy bosses from Royal Dutch Shell and Gasunie who get lucrative deals from Gazprom are enthusiastic about Kremlin-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline via the Baltic Sea. They call it “a commercial deal”. However, Dutch citizens beyond policymaking circles have been hardly informed about this toxic project as there was no proper debate across society.

This highly expensive project corruptly subsidized by the Kremlin-led monopoly at the expense of Russian taxpayers has many grave environmental, political and economic implications for the Netherlands and wider Europe.

Gazprom, even when compared with other fossil fuel peers like Shell, has an egregious track record on gas leaks from pipeline and gas flaring at production, contributing heavily to climate change and rising sea levels. This undermines Dutch security and environmental goals and refutes the myth that gas from Nord Stream 2 gas can serve as a bridge from coal to renewables.

Nord Stream 2 is destroying Kurgalsky Nature Reserve in the Gulf of Finland after violating international laws and faking public hearings and reports. Throughout Baltic Sea Nord Stream 2 construction has been caught polluting water. Natura 2000 sites and multiple animal life are affected according to leading environmental activists.

Politically, Dutch people might not realize how much this Kremlin-led pipeline will divide the EU. Russia has often acted as a bully and aggressive spy in the Baltic Sea and Northwestern Europe and will likely use Nord Stream 2 to further those actions, plus it will be less limited to re-start war in Ukraine. Gazprom has used coercion against many EU states, for example, by cutting down supplies via Nord Stream 1 in 2014-15 to stop reverse gas flows.

Economically, Nord Stream 2 will make Eastern Europe hostage to bilateral relations with Gazprom while Dutch and other Western consumers are not guaranteed from price hikes because of the loss of flexibility and gas-to-gas competition under the existing system.

Only vested interests of Gazprom’s partners in Germany and Netherlands are guaranteed as well as pipeline operators at the expense of Russian taxpayers and ordinary western consumers. In Russia, Gazprom’s corruption for Putin’s insiders will further flourish, while common people remain deprived of basic healthcare, education and even gas.

Dutch citizens should appreciate that their government acts contrary to EU energy principles with this project, and selfishly against the majority of EU states and EU parliament. Holland is assisting an authoritarian corrupt state and fails to be a team player in the EU.

Key points and recommendations for the Netherlands

Recommendations

To the Dutch Government

  • Check Nord Stream 2 project for compliance with the Paris climate agreement ratified by the NetherlandsCommission a comprehensive research report on the supply of peak-load gas after the decommissioning of Groningen production and implementation of Nord Stream 2 according to the plans of Gazprom partners. Growing deficit of peak-load gas in Northwestern Europe is highly likely to affect the price of incremental volumes needed to cover the heating and power generation demand in winter, especially during the periods of low wind. The gas price in many long-term contracts of Gazprom is linked to the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) hub price, so the growth of the latter would affect the average price of the whole region. Specific research on the price effects of the less publicized part of the Nord Stream 2 project (the decommissioning of over 95% of pipeline capacity at the Russian-Ukrainian border) is needed.
  • Ask domestic and other Western law-enforcement agencies that are sitting on incriminating information about Putin’s circle and their corrupt operations within Gazprom to act on this and to release comprehensive reports about it.
  • Ask relevant government bodies to counter Gazprom’s propaganda about European gas demand and import requirements, market reality, and reasonable outlooks.

To the Dutch Civil Society and NGOs

  • Hold partners of Gazprom in Europe – major corporations that are slated to benefit from Nord Stream 1 and 2 – to public account of rampant corruption in the Russian gas industry, and appeal to their self-stated standards on governance and corporate social responsibility values. Make them aware that the lucrative project offered by Gazprom is at the expense of Russian taxpayers and Europe’s long-term democracy and security.
  • Demand from Shell, Gasunie, Van Oord to stop cooperating in the project until it complies with international conventions, as well as complies with OECD guidelines and with Free Prior and Informed Consent.
  • Facilitate more public events and publications in Europe in which the voices of regular consumers and the opposition in Russia can be heard with regard to policy-making on Nord Stream 2. Right now, the balance heavily favors Gazprom’s enablers and sympathizers. Encourage less superficial and more historical, fact-based, and detailed discussion of the problem. Translate and publicize for the benefit of Western audiences and corporations the findings of investigative journalists and activists in Russia about Gazprom’s corruption and the actual results of Nord Stream 1 for all involved parties.
  • Insist on measures that will force think tanks and academics in favor of the project to fully disclose their potential conflicts of interest and any affiliation with Gazprom or its partners.
  • Conduct independent research about the true costs including environmental, political, security and economic implications of Nord Stream 2 for the Netherlands and the EU and share their findings widely with policymakers and society to inform them about the issues. There is a lack of independent expert research and journalistic investigations about the impact of the project on the climate, on the ecosystems of the Kurgalsky reserve, the Baltic Sea and Natura 2000, and on the observance of the human rights of the indigenous peoples of Russia.
  • Demand from the European Union that:
  • the Nord Stream 2 project complies with international conventions (the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context and Ramsar Convention)
  • Nord Stream 2 Environmental Impact Assessment documentation is re-organized and reflects on the damage and real value 46https://www.interfax.ru/business/430933of the Kurgalsky Nature Reserve
  • Nord Stream 2 must initiate proper environmental monitoring or control in the course of the construction and operation on both sea and onshore segments.

Questions for the Dutch Media

We hope that after our conference the Dutch media will be interested in conducting journalistic investigations about the impact of the Nord Stream 2 project:

  • On the global climate change
  • On the ecosystem of the Natura 2000, on the Baltic Sea and on the Kurgalsky Nature Reserve and how Russian legislation on the latter became weakened because of Nord Stream 2.
  • On the human rights of indigenous people of Yamal and Finno-Ugric people. Investigate project compliance with OECD guidelines. Check the project for implementation of Free Prior and Informed Consent.
  • We would like to also draw the media’s attention to the so-called Capacity Optimization Plan of Gazprom. To re-iterate, the plan foresees the liquidation of over 95% (!) of the total pipeline capacity at the Russian-Ukrainian border. Current capacity exceeds 240 billion cubic meters a year (bcma), and Gazprom plans to reduce it to 10-15 bcma. The plan confirms that Nord Stream 2 is not about diversification and security of supply but about the elimination of Ukrainian transit.
  • We encourage the media to question the myth of Gazprom being a reliable partner of Europe and re-examine multiple incidents covered in the brochure. In particular, in January-March 2015, Vladimir Putin ordered Gazprom to reduce Nord Stream flow by 50%. This was Putin’s reaction to the announced reverse sale of gas from the European Union to Ukraine. As reported by Russia’s state news agency Interfax,46 the failed attempt to stop the reverse gas flow to Ukraine resulted in a loss of $5.5 billion of Gazprom’s revenue and fines of $400 million. Apparently, Putin considered the “punishment” to be more important than $6 billion and the reputation of Nord Stream. This should be a warning for the current deliberations around Nord Stream 2 and future transit agreements between Russia and Ukraine.
  • Western media has barely addressed the commercial value of Nord Stream 2 from the standpoint of the shareholders of Gazprom, including Western shareholders. The shareholders had to invest some €40 billion to divert the earlier contracted volumes of gas from Ukraine and Slovakia to Germany. There are no additional volumes and no additional profits. The planned physical liquidation of pipelines at the Russian-Ukrainian border indicates that this is a purely political project aimed at punishing Ukraine by reducing the country’s transit revenue.

France

Pro-Kremlin lobbyists in Paris and French energy corporations friendly with Gazprom call Nord Stream 2 a great “commercial deal”. But French citizens hardly know any details as there has been no proper public debate.

This highly expensive project subsidized at the expense of ordinary Russian taxpayers has many grave environmental, political and economic implications for France and the EU.

Even among its fossil fuel peers like Total and Engie, Gazprom has a horrific track record on gas leaks from pipeline and gas flaring at production, contributing heavily to climate change. This undermines Paris Climate Accord and the idea that Nord Stream 2 can serve as a bridge from coal to renewables.

Nord Stream 2 is destroying Kurgalsky Nature Reserve on the shores of the Gulf of Finland after faking public hearings and publishing misleading reports. Elsewhere in the Baltic Sea Nord Stream 2 construction has been caught polluting water. Natura 2000 sites and multiple animal life are affected according to leading environmental NGOs.

Politically, French people might not realize how much this Kremlin-led pipeline will divide the EU.

Poland, Baltic countries, Romania along with Ukraine – have been highly critical of Nord Stream 2 as it will not only reduce their transit fees and access to gas but undermine security of the whole Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Kremlin has often acted as a bully and aggressive spy in the Baltic Sea and Europe at large and will likely use Nord Stream 2 to further those actions, plus it will be less limited to re-start war in Ukraine.

Gazprom has used coercion against many EU states, for example, by cutting down supplies via Nord Stream 1 in 2014-15 to stop reverse gas flows.

Economically, Nord Stream 2 will make CEE hostage to bilateral relations with Gazprom while French and Western consumers are not guaranteed from price hike as flexibility and gas-to-gas competition of the existing system will be lost. Only vested interests of Gazprom’s partners in Germany and France are guaranteed as well as pipeline operators.

In Russia, Gazprom’s corruption for Putin’s insiders will further flourish, while ordinary Russians remain deprived of basic healthcare, education and even gas. People next to Nord Stream 1 continue to burn timber despite official promises of gas.

French citizens should not appreciate that their government acts contrary to EU energy principles by allowing this project, and against the majority of EU states and EU parliament. France is assisting an authoritarian corrupt state and fails to be a democratic leader in the EU.

Key points and recommendations for France